Have you ever noticed that look of love and trust in the eyes of a horse or a dog when its owner approaches? You’ll usually also see it nuzzle its owner as it tries to get as close as possible to him or her.
“We can judge the heart of a man by his treatment of animals.” —Immanuel Kant
“The kind man feeds his cat before sitting down to dinner.” —Yiddish proverb
“He who wants to travel far takes care of his beast.” —French proverb
Proverbs 12:10 says, “A righteous man regardeth the life of his beast: but the tender mercies of the wicked are cruel.” The Lord reveals His care of animals by including them in the law regarding a sabbath day’s rest. (Exodus 20:10) I couldn’t help but wonder about the second half of Proverbs 12:10 when it says, “… but the tender mercies of the wicked are cruel”. How can that be? How can compassion or tender mercies be cruel? They are cruel when they are inconsistent and mixed with indifference and callousness, because the animal receiving those tender mercies doesn’t know what to expect. Instead of love, trust, and nuzzles, you’ll find apprehension and distance. I’d rather have nuzzles, wouldn’t you? That doesn’t just go for animals. The principle can be applied to people, too. In fact, a friend reminded me that serial killers are generally known for having been cruel to animals first. Consider people you know who neither like nor respect animals versus those who do. I have found that people who are kindhearted and considerate of animals are some of the nicest and most enjoyable people I know.
“The man who does not love a horse cannot love a woman.” —Spanish proverb
If you are a host to your guest, be a host to his dog also. —Russian Proverb